SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A 6-year-old boy overdosed on antihistamines in Spartanburg County and now deputies have charged his foster parents in connection to his death.
According to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a house in Greer on October 30, 2022, to assist EMS with an unresponsive 6-year-old boy. The boy was identified by the coroner’s office as Aydon Quinn.
The parents told EMS and law enforcement that the boy fell out of a recliner, hit his head on a hard floor, and suffered a seizure.
He was taken to the hospital where he died later that day.
The sheriff’s office conducted a search warrant at the house, which showed the boy was living in filthy conditions.
During the investigation, deputies learned the child had abuse referrals that had been made to the Department of Social Services.
DSS released a statement on Monday saying:
“The individuals in question in the death of Aydon Quinn have never been licensed foster parents in the State of South Carolina through the Department of Social Services. The placement of this child with these individuals was not facilitated by DSS in any way and was done privately.”
An autopsy was performed which showed bruises in various stages of healing, according to the sheriff’s office. Toxicology results showed the boy died from an overdose of diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in antihistamines like Benadryl.
The sheriff’s office said the boy, who weighed 45 pounds, “had enough Benadryl in his system to kill an adult male.”
“When this came back, we were kind of shocked at the level that we were seeing,” Coroner Rusty Clevenger said.
Clevenger said he had never seen any case like it. He said the levels of diphenhydramine in Aydon’s system were four times the lethal amount for a child and far beyond the lethal dose for an adult.
“It had to be horrendous,” he said.
After interviewing the parents, the mother, Sarah Elizabeth Stewart, 32, of Greer, told deputies she gave the boy Benadryl because he was hyperactive.
Stewart was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse and unlawful neglect of a child.
Deputies also arrested and charged the father, Christopher Allen Stewart, 48, of the same address, with unlawful neglect of a child.
The parents were located in Abbeville County Thursday afternoon. They will be brought back to Spartanburg County.
The couple appeared before a judge Friday morning.
The judge denied bond for Sarah Stewart and assigned a $10,000 bond for Christopher Stewart.
The couple will appear in court again in May.